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THE DO’S AND DONT’S OF STOCK MAKING BY CHEF VIBS

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Making of stocks is not very difficult if you remember these basic guidelines:Always start the stock with cold liquid. If you add hot water to meat, it causes the meat to release soluble proteins quickly into the surrounding liquid.  These proteins coagulate very quickly and form very fine particles and cloud the stock.

When you use cold liquid and then heat up slowly, the proteins in the meat or fish coagulate in larger clumps and float to the top, where you can easily skim them. When adding liquid to an already simmering stock to compensate for evaporation, make sure that the liquid is cold. 

Never allow a stock to boil. As meat and bones cook, they release proteins and fats into the surrounding liquid. If the stock is kept at a slow simmer then these components appear as a scum on the top, where you can easily skim them. If the stock is boiling these substances are churned back into the stock and are emulsified.The resulting stock is cloudy and has a dull, greasy flavour, which only worsens if you reduce the stock for a sauce. When the stock comes to a simmer, skim it every 5-10 mins. For the first hour to prevent the fat and scum from working back into the stock

For the same reason one has to heat a stock slowly because rapid heating will cause the meat to release albumin too quickly into the surrounding liquid.  Don’t use too much liquid.The higher the proportion of solid ingredients to the liquid, the more flavorful the stock. When adding water add only till three quarters of the way to the top of the dry ingredients.

The only exceptions to this rule are for stocks which have a long cooking time. A basic ratio of bones to liquid would be 2.5 kg. Bones to 4 litre liquid. Don’t move the contents of the stock during cooking and strainingAs the stock cooks a lot of solids settle along the bottom and the sides of the container and these may come into the stock and cloud them. Allow enough time for the stock to strain naturally. Store stocks carefully. Stocks are the perfect medium for bacteria in fact beef stock was originally used to line petri dishes in laboratories. Cool stocks in an ice bath, stirring all the time. The main idea is to cool it rapidly Use a tall , narrow pot to minimize evaporation. A certain amount of flavour is lost during evaporation , and the rate of evaporation depends on the surface area of the liquid. Degrease the final stock i.e. To remove the fat from the surface. The most effective method is to chill the stock and remove the layer of fat that congeals on the top. If you must use the stock immediately  you can skim the top with a ladle or blot it with a clean cloth containing ice cubes.  

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